Hospital bed shortage grows across state

Intensive care bed availability remains low across the state, including the Foothills RETAC region of which Grand County is a part. According to state reports, 83% of people hospitalized in Colorado for COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment / graphic courtesy of

A nationwide shortage of intensive care beds continues to worry local health officials.

As of Monday, only 81 beds were available in the ICU in Colorado. Grand County’s Foothills RETAC area has only five beds – up from 11 beds last week. Several regions in Colorado do not have ICU beds available.

According to Grand County Public Health, three Grand Counties are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 and all three are unvaccinated. According to national reports, 83% of the 1,565 people hospitalized in Colorado for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

The state also reports that 46% of facilities anticipate staff shortages in the next week and 41% anticipate a shortage of ICU beds in the next week.

There have been 34 cases of COVID-19 in Grand County in the past seven days. Only 3% of these cases were pediatric, that is, in children under 18 years of age. The number of deaths from COVID-19 remains the same for the county at 10 since the pandemic began.

Grand County’s director of public health Abbie Baker told district commissioners Tuesday that she expected an increase in COVID-19 cases due to visitors, holidays, travel and increased indoor activity.

She added that other mountain resort communities are discussing a possible regional approach to control COVID-19 cases during the ski season. No decisions were made, and Baker said she had not submitted a position for Grand County.

Baker said the main thing she wanted was for commissioners to be aware of these conversations and be able to attend them.

With demand for hospitals across the state so high, some Front Range counties have begun reintroducing indoor masking requirements. The Grand County commissioners who represent the Health Council did not have such discussions at their meetings.

Booster syringes are available to all adults in Colorado and are recommended due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in the state. Boosters are available for people over the age of 18 who received their second dose of vaccine more than six months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago.

Children over the age of 5 can now receive the Pfizer vaccine. See vaccine and booster offers across the county at

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